Pro-Choice activists frequently over-rely on extreme circumstances such as cases of abuse, rape, or incest to justify the existence and availability of abortion. They argue that forcing a victim of these traumas to carry a baby to term is callous and wrong.
Once again, this argument is grounded in the premise that an unborn baby is not a person yet. As long as Pro-Choicers hold to this premise, it’s nearly impossible for Pro-Life advocates to convince them otherwise. We disagree on such a fundamental truth that it’s too hard to reconcile our differences unless someone caves. Pro-Life advocates need to arm themselves with solid reasoning, so that we avoid collapsing under pressure.
When abortionists argue with examples of rape and incest, they’re predominantly making an Appeal to Pity. This is a fallacy of relevance. Basically, they appeal to opponents’ emotional sensitivity and compassion to dodge the real crux of the issue: the baby’s life. No Pro-Lifer wishes to prolong any victim’s suffering, so we often have a hard time responding to this appeal. However, we must never give up on protecting the very life of the innocent child to protect the mental and physical comfort of the victimized mother. We cannot allow one evil to justify another. To do so would not be an act of compassion, instead it would only create another victim without solving the mother’s trauma.
These extreme examples also usually argue with a Hasty Generalization of the negative effects on these pregnant victims. Hasty Generalizations notoriously rush to general conclusions through assumptions, stereotyping and/or exaggeration rather than sufficient evidence. Abortion advocates love to point out all the scary repercussions of carrying an unwanted baby to term. They exaggerate negative reactions and ignore positive ones, leaving everyone to assume that victims of rape need abortion to avoid falling into a pit of stress and depression.
In the worst examples, Pro-Choice activists push their generalizations all the way into a False Dichotomy. Abortionists limit all possible outcomes to only two radical options: either the mother gets an abortion, or she deteriorates into a puddle of terrible mental illness which possibly results in suicide. This narrow-minded outlook is unreasonable. In reality, there are a multitude of options open to the mother, starting with her choice to keep the baby, give them up for adoption, or terminate them.
Some women get counseling or lean on friends and family. Others remain trapped in toxic situations and struggle to cope on their own. Some victims come to adore their babies. Others find it a great relief to give them up for adoption, either to give the baby a better future or to rid themselves of any reminders of their victimization. Still others choose abortion, but abortion doesn’t heal the mothers’ trauma. Some might find abortion a relief while many others only add a guilty conscience to their list of struggles. There is not a dichotomy of outcomes in these situations, and it is logically negligent for Pro-Choice activists to argue this.
At the end of the day, one evil does not justify another, and victimized women are more resilient than abortionists give them credit for. Don’t fall for Pro-Choice activists’ faulty logic. Being Pro-Life is the most compassionate stance we can take and carrying a baby to term will not inevitably lead to the destruction of victimized mothers.
This article belongs to a four-part series.
-By Elise Ozanich